Coastal Mission Brings Six-Race Win Streak Into G2 Cigar Mile

November 24, 2023

Coastal Mission victorious in a Laurel Park allowance Feb. 21, 2022 (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Coleswood Farm’s West Virginia-homebred Coastal Mission brings a six-race win streak into next Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Jeff Runco, the 4-year-old Great Notion gelding has won 11-of-16 starts, including a trio of stakes wins at his Charles Town base led by an open-company score two starts back in the two-turn seven-furlong Russell Road on August 25 and the state-bred West Virgina Breeders’ Classic going nine furlongs last out on October 14.

Coastal Mission stalked and pounced to victory in the Russell Road, scoring by 2 3/4-lengths over graded stakes-placed Mish with graded stakes-placed Sir Alfred James in third and stakes-placed Payne in fourth.

“He’s doing great and ready to go. He ran against some pretty good horses in the Russell Road and done well. He brings his game whenever he comes over,” Runco said.

Coastal Mission wins the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic (Via @TVG on Twitter)

Coastal Mission’s current win streak has been accomplished exclusively at Charles Town and dates back to an open-company allowance win in April and includes a state-bred score in the Confucius Say. The win-friendly grey, who has won at distances ranging from 4 1/2-furlongs to nine furlongs, did ship to Laurel Park last February to win an optional-claiming sprint.

Runco said the versatile Coastal Mission should appreciate the one-turn mile configuration at Aqueduct.

“I think a mile will be great for him. He just ran a mile and an eighth for the first time last out. But he runs seven-eighths really good and I think a mile out of the chute over there will be a good distance for him,” Runco said. “He ran a 98 Beyer in the Russell Road and he got a 95 Beyer last time and he did that easily – they were pulling him up in that race. His numbers are getting better and that’s why we’re giving him a shot at this race.”

Coastal Mission will mark Runco’s ninth starter at the Big A having previously found success in the 2008 Queens County with the graded stakes-winning millionaire West Virginia-bred Researcher.

“That horse won stakes everywhere. He won all over the Mid-Atlantic and made over a million,” Runco recalled.

Coastal Mission, a full-brother to multiple graded stakes-placed Lewisfield, is out of the Crowd Pleaser mare Smart Crowd, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Duckhorn. He has banked $566,653 through a record of 16-11-3-1.

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